CP2 sells 8% stake in Transurban

The Australian fund manager has sold a 7.86% interest in Australian toll road operator Transurban, reducing its stake in the company to just under 5%. Various media reports cited Future Fund as one of the buyers in the share sell-down, with its stake reportedly increasing from 4.4% to almost 7%.

CP2, the Sydney-headquartered fund manager, revealed in a statement last week that it had sold a 7.86 percent stake in Australian toll road operator Transurban for a reported A$631 million (€499 million; $659 million). Prior to the transaction, CP2 had held a 12.57 percent interest in the firm on behalf of four institutional investors.

In the statement, CP2 chief executive Syd Bone said: “This block trade achieves a portfolio rebalancing for two of our clients who had significantly increased their long-term exposure to Australian toll roads late last year when we acquired ConnectEast.”

Although the two clients were not named in the statement, they are understood to be the UK’s Universities Superannuation Scheme and Denmark’s ATP, both of which invested in CP2’s A$2.2 billion (€1.6 billion; $2.2 billion) acquisition of ConnectEast in the second half of last year.

It was also not revealed who had acquired the shares, although various media reports cited Future Fund, the Australian sovereign wealth fund, as having acquired around 30 percent of the shares up for sale through its fund manager RARE Infrastructure. Future Fund has been steadily acquiring shares in Transurban since the turn of the year and the latest transaction is believed to have taken its interest to 6.78 percent.      

With two CP2 clients maintaining their holdings in Transurban, Bone added: “Transurban has a high-quality portfolio of toll road assets, a sound capital structure and a stated focus on distributing free cash to shareholders. In our view, these are attractive long-term investment characteristics.”

CP2, together with Canadian pensions Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP), had repeatedly sought to acquire Transurban over the course of 2009 and 2010. Following the failed efforts, OTPP sold its 12 percent stake in Transurban in mid-2010 and CPPIB sold its holding – also 12 percent – around a year later.